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Liquor licence change denied due to RCMP concerns of fights, drunkenness

An application to expand hours of liquor sales at a North Burnaby restaurant was rejected by council recently after Burnaby RCMP raised concerns about fights and drunkenness at the site. The Grid Restaurant and Lounge has 70 seats, including a 20-seat outdoor patio, at its premises at 6555 Hastings St., at Kensington Avenue, inside the Hastings Golf Centre. The restaurant had applied for a change to its food primary liquor licence to allow patron participation entertainment, specifically dinner and dance with live music, and to extend liquor sales to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Currently, liquor can be sold inside the restaurant and on the outdoor patio from 11 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. The restaurant and outdoor patio are located within the golf centre, surrounded mainly by the Shell Canada lands and commercial development. The golf centre is well landscaped along Hastings Street, so any noise would not impact nearby commercial areas, according to a city staff report. The closest homes are over 200 metres (more than 650 feet) away and are not considered to be impacted by the proposal. However, when consulted, Burnaby RCMP noted there have been numerous cases of fights and intoxication in the restaurant and its parking lot within the last three years. The incidents included “a fatal motor vehicle accident involving alcohol, which cites the specific cause of the intoxication was due to the alcohol that was served to the driver at the Grid Restaurant,” the report said. Part of the problem appears to be that liquor service in the restaurant “is not consistent with the intent of the existing food primary liquor licence.” During a recent joint liquor inspection by Burnaby RCMP and the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, the restaurant’s operations “were being undertaken in a manner similar to that of a liquor primary licenced establishment in that liquor service without food appeared to be the primary activity of the business.” Council voted unanimously to reject the application.

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